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Rebels use strong ground game to pull away from Cougars

JOHNNY WILSON, Sports Correspondent • Sep 15, 2018 at 1:55 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — With Sullivan Central looming as a dangerous and nearly desperate opponent, Sullivan South took care of business Friday night.

The Rebels displayed patience and got big ground games from both Luke Pollack and Julian Reed, eventually pulling away to a 33-15 road win in a penalty-marred Region 1-4A football game.

South found itself in a 7-7 tie with two minutes left before halftime, but the Rebels (4-1, 2-0) dominated thereafter and won going away.

View the photo gallery from the game

“I think a lot of that comes from the experience we’ve got with our seniors,” said South coach Justin Hilton. “Things were not going our way in the first half.

“Central had an excellent game plan and they played extremely hard. But our guys were resilient and when we got some breaks we kind of took advantage.”

The loss was the 34th in a row for the Cougars (0-4, 0-1).

TWO-HEADED MONSTER

South relied heavily on a ground attack that featured senior quarterback Pollack either handing off or faking to Reed and keeping it himself off the edge.

Pollack ran 18 times for 130 yards and three touchdowns, including an 11-yard scoring dash with 40 seconds left in the second quarter, good for a 13-7 Rebel lead at intermission.

Reed, a 5-foot-9, 165-pound running back, carried 16 times for 125 yards and two touchdowns. The junior turned in the back-breaker with a 50-yard scoring run with 2:43 left in the third period, putting South up 19-7.

“Whether we throw it or run it, we’re going to do whatever we gotta do to win any way we can,” Hilton said. “Tonight we ran the ball pretty well.”

Pollack scored the first touchdown on an 18-yard run and then added a 1-yard plunge to stretch South’s lead to 26-7 in the fourth quarter.

Moments later, Reed tallied on a 12-yard scamper to make it a 33-7 game.

The Rebels finished with 333 total yards, including 287 on the ground, to Central’s 201 total.

SACK PACK

South made life tough all night on talented Central quarterback Jackson Harrison, who was sacked at least a half-dozen times.

“I think that can be attributed to the work we’ve done in the weight room,” Hilton said. “And we’ve got a lot of pretty good football players.

“I’m proud of our defensive front. We got a good pass rush off the edge, and Cam Necessary played a really good game in there for us once again.”

Harrison did complete a pair of touchdown passes to Connor Wilson, covering 7 and 21 yards. The senior signal-caller completed 9 of 20 passes for 100 yards and two interceptions.

Six players — three from each team — were ejected for a third-quarter fight at midfield. South was penalized 13 times for 115 yards.

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